It appears that when one pays one's real property tax, though late, the Stark County auditor's office does not promptly and timely file notice of the payment so that delinquency status is removed from the department's online records.
Yours truly's experience with the auditor's office has been that when a payment on taxes has been made on a timely basis, a record of payment appears within a few days of the payment having been made.
The Report believes that in the case when the auditor's online report shows a taxpayer to be delinquent, Auditor Harold should institute procedures to immediately record a payment made online and concomitantly remove "delinquent" status and showing the payment to have been made late (after the payment due deadline).
Drawing from records posted on the auditor's website, the SCPR reported on yesterday's blog that as of September 3, 2012, the site showed real property taxes on Massillon Mayor Catazaro-Perry (which is co-owned by her husband Anthony Perry) to be delinquent.
However, SCPR has just learned on reading Matt Rink's Massillon Independent piece, Massillon mayor, councilmen hit for not paying property tax (09/04/2012 at 11:00 PM) that the mayor and her husband paid the taxes on August 16th. The tax payment was late in that timely payment was due in July and was subjected to a $240 late payment.
The SCPR checked on the Catazaro-Perry/Perry tax payment record on the 900 Mill Ridge Path property as of the writing of this "update" and still Harold's office has failed to show the August 16th payment.
After being contacted by Rink yesterday, one would think that Harold would have had the online record corrected immediately.
Yours truly spoke to Harold yesterday about this particular blog preliminary (about 10:00 a.m.) to a meeting with the Stark County commissioners about auditor's office work on its sexennial reappraisal of Stark County properties.
There was nary a word from Harold to the SCPR about the August 16th payment nor did he follow up with The Report at anytime with information about the late payment at any time throughout the course of Tuesday.
Such is surprising coming from Harold inasmuch as he has (as indicated in today's forthcoming blog) been totally impressive to the SCPR in the handling of his office.
As soon as Harold's office is open for business today, the SCPR will be in touch with Harold and asking him about the delay in recording online the Catazaro-Perry/Perry August 16th payment and inquiring about corrections he plans on making to his online reporting procedures so that a taxpayer gets full benefit of public notice that he/she has paid his/her tax bill, even if late.
If Harold is the type of public official the SCPR believes him to be, he will make immediate adjustments to the internal operations of his office with regard to the posting of late payments on accounts which have been reported as being delinquent.
Rink's article does confirm that delinquencies that the SCPR reported with regard to Massillon councilmen Tony Townsend and Donnie Peters, Jr have not yet been paid.
It has to be shocking (and, perhaps, unacceptable) to ordinary citizens most of whom are up-to-date on their taxes to learn that it is not all that uncommon for public officials to owe taxes.
At the federal level, the Internal Revenue Service is required to report annually to the American public on the numbers of federal officials (mostly "unelected" types) who owe federal taxes.
Republican partisans out in bloggersphere are having a field day with with a revelation that aides to President Obama owe some $833,000 in federal taxes.
But they, as of the date of the IRS revelation, according to a Investors.com report (LINK) were 36 in number compared to thousands of Americans who work for the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, the United States Department of Justice, the United States Postal Service, Homeland Security, the U.S. Treasury, the Department of Education, Veterans Affairs and United States military personnel.
While the vast majority, if not all, of the tax malingerers are "unelected," the ironic thing about their delinquencies is that only IRS employees can be fired because they are behind in their taxes.
Americans likely, if they had their way, want the IRS standard (i.e. fire the delinquent taxpayers) to apply to all federal officials who allow you and I to support them while they do not pay their fair share of federal taxes.
It is interesting (according to the Investors.com article) that Congress itself allowed Tim Geithner to become treasury secretary on his paying $42,000 in back taxes.
Hmm? Doesn't that seem more than a tad hypocritical?
No wonder Congress lingers at a public approval rating of between 9 and 17 percent.
Closer to home (Massillon city government), the SCPR recently learned that Stark County has local elected officials who are in arrears (as of the Stark County auditor 09/03/2012 listings).
County auditor records indicate that Massillon Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry and Councilmen Tony Townsend (4th Ward) and Donnie Peters, Jr. (5th Ward).
And, of course, these delinquencies are astonishing in light of the fact that Mayor Kathy has been making a big push since late in 2011 (shortly after she was elected) to get Massillon City Council to raise taxes for some Massillonians by reducing the income tax credit for those citizens who work outside Massillon and pay taxes to those cities or villages, as the case may be.
Councilmen Peters has been opposing her all along the way. Councilman Townsend is on record for voting no to the mayor's request on one recorded vote.
Not only is a reduction in the city income tax credit being mulled over by council, there is also some sentiment to ask Massillonians to increase their overall income taxes by .2 percent to bring the total percentage to 2.0%.
The SCPR has to believe that it is unacceptable to everyday Massillonians to have elected public officials involved in determining whether or not to directly increase taxes (i.e. the reduction in the income tax credit) or indirectly increase them (i.e. ask Massillon voters to approve a .2% increase).
And this is not the first time Catazaro-Perry has been late on her real property taxes, to wit:
Property taxes for the first half of 2010 were due Feb. 16, but were paid by Catazaro-Perry ... by credit card April 5, according to records. They have since paid the $239.84 late fee, and the second-half tax payment that isn’t due until July, on their 900 Mill Ridge Path NE home. (Matt Rink, The Independent, Mayor's [Frank Cicchinelli] ally presses opponent's tax issues, May 1, 2011)To the SCPR it is unbelievable that an "elected" public official does not make absolutely sure that her/his taxes are paid "on-time." With Massillon having the "revenue problems" it is having, one would think that it would be unthinkable for city officials to be dilatory in paying taxes.
What if the masses of taxpayers followed their example?
Massillon is in a struggle now to keep pace on paying city bills. The Report's take is that city continues to run behind.
And The Report remembers council members (e.g. Councilman Larry Slagle) pressing the Catazaro-Perry administration to clean up those delinquent Massillon city income tax delinquencies.
Is the city compromised in this regard, given the mayor's and a couple council members apparent example?